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Enjoying my new 6400M

I've been using my 6400M semi-remotely from my iMac in the kitchen for a little over a month now. (My wife likes to have me close by.) The 6400M is upstairs in my "shack". It took me awhile to figure out how to get Virtualbox optimized to run Windows 10/SmartSDR/WSJT-X, and it works very well, although it hogs most of the iMac's CPU power. I mostly use a vintage Cushcraft R7 squeezed into my small back yard - it's only about 6 ft. away from my bedroom wall and steel framing. Although I don't radiate too well, FT8 makes up for it. I got my FT8 and 20m stickers for my WAS award in less than 30 days of operating in this configuration. I really enjoy the idea of having a spectrum analyzer with an attached radio. Operation is mostly very intuitive.

Comments

  • Paul LeachPaul Leach Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Excellent Bill
    .........am almost into  my first week with my 6400.

    it is located remotely im  my garage-  thought it would be qrm free)
    Just trying t get my head around the DAX and wsjt settings too!!!
    Trie using TS200 a Fx 6xxx settings. ok on  rx but not  tx
    happy days

    Paul GW4AMZ
  • Paul LeachPaul Leach Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    sorry about typo's - wireless keyboard playing up
  • Olaf, W9FYOlaf, W9FY Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Hi Bill,
    Which virtual machine are you using--Parallels or Fusion?
    Olaf W9FY
  • edited May 6
    Hi Olaf,

    I'm using Oracle's Virtualbox on my "semi-remote" machine and Parallels on my iMac in my shack. I have used Fusion in the past and, in my opinion, found Parallels to be a much better solution. I'm using Virtualbox because it's free. I have a total of 5 macs and can't see buying 5 Parallels licenses, so I tried Virtualbox and (after some tuning) found it to work quite well. I'm planning another post about my virtualization experiences.

    Bill KE3BK
  • Olaf, W9FYOlaf, W9FY Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Hi Bill,
    Thanks for info.
    I will check out Oracle's Virtualbox, and look forward to your posting.
    I'm using mid 2011 model iMAC, 2.7 GHz i5, and 16G ram with Fusion (&Win 10 pro).
    For contesting (and sometime in future try WSJT-X modes) still need to use Windows.

    Reason I'm asking is that my iMAC is the oldest one that current Fusion will support, and  seems to be getting less responsive (maybe its
    my imagination), so I want to explore my future options. Would still like to
    stay MAC and I like the virtual operation so I can switch easily between the two OS's.

    My Flex right now is on an older PC running Win 10 pro.

    Thanks Again,
    Olaf W9FY


  • K3SFK3SF Member ✭✭
    edited March 20
    hi bill

    Since you run lotsa FT8 and you have 6400M, You can run FT8 natively on your iMac.
    and just let the 6400m run by itself.

    No need to run a Virtual Machine on the imac as ssdr will be running on the 6400m when you start it up.

    Now you need to get xcat and xdax for the mac. (freeware)

    https://dl3lsm.blogspot.com/p/downloads.html

    and

    native mac wsjtx from k1jt
    https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html

    also need an audio routing s/w.

    I use loopback but  it does cost ($99)
    https://rogueamoeba.com/loopback/

    or

    you can try sound siphon ($49) but i have had issues with it.
    https://staticz.com/soundsiphon/

    i highly recommend loopback.

    Loopback in combo with xdax handles all the audio routing needed
    and
    xcat handles all rig control needed for FT8

    also you can run fldigi in the same manner.

    i do this with my 6600M

    i run this setup on various mac minis, imac and macbook pro.

    Paul K3SF




  • edited May 6
    Hi Paul, Although I’ve been preoccupied with FT8 lately, my primary reason for using a VM is SmartSDR. I really like the user interface - I wasn’t too impressed with the Dogpark UI. WSJT-X, fldigi, et al, are easily integrated add-ons. Bill KE3BK
  • K3SFK3SF Member ✭✭
    edited March 20
    hi bill
    Completely understand, UI of ssdr vs dpsdr. The two are definitely different enough.

    But one thing to considers is  running xdax and xcat and native versions of FT8 and fldigi. This will reduce the cpu load running a VM.

    as for non-digital modes
    i have enjoyed ssdr-ios on a ipad pro for just casual cw or ssb....cause the UI is the same as SSDR windose..feels right...i have run multiple slice on the ipad. takes a little getting use to switching between panafalls


    the neet thing about the flex client-server architecture is it can take multiple clients for dax and cat
    and
    some day when they get multi-client working then teh same can be said about panafalls.

    i am looking forward to that day...

    oH..i have also used my iphone while walking the dog to remote in. mostly listen to some nets as i walk along...

    so much can be done with this radio...

    enjoy it
    Paul K3SF




  • Mark G ThomasMark G Thomas Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    I have good luck with SmartSDR under Fusion on my Mac laptops, except I haven't found a way to use it via WiFi, since VMware can't share the WiFi adapter the same way as it would an ethernet adapter, and the silly same-subnet SmartSDR broadcast  limitation for base radio discovery packets.  -Mark T  KC3DRE
  • Dave - N6XVZDave - N6XVZ Member
    edited August 2018
    Bill-
    Great tip about using Virtualbox.  Curious per Mark T's subsequent comment about Fusion and WiFi and can't run SmartSDR.  Are you able to run SmartSDR in VirtualBox/Windows via wifi?  Or are you hardwired?

    I have a Mac and am looking to get a 6400; really not liking the idea of investing in a Windows box just for that....
  • edited August 2018
    Dave,
    I mainly run on an iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013) with a quad-core 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5. However, it also runs - although running WSJT-X is somewhat iffy - on my MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) with a dual-core 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5. It works fine otherwise, wi-fi no problem. If you really want to run with the best performance, BootCamp is the way to go, but I don't like the idea of rebooting all the time.

    Bill

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